Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

A:  Salons, Diamond Ratings and the Impala Trophy are all interlinked.  Congress is the time when all of the participants in Honours, including Diamond Ratings and Impala Trophies and various other Awards are congratulated.

Impala Trophy
Impala Trophy(ies) are awarded annually to the fully paid-up member(s) of PSSA gaining the greatest number of points in each of these mediums:
– Projected Digital Images (PDI)
– Prints and
– Audio Visual

There will be one trophy for each medium.
The Impala trophy for PDI will be awarded to the member with the highest number of points for the three PDI sections combined:
– Colour will have two sections: Open and Nature
– Mono will have one section: Open
In addition to the Impala Trophy for the overall winner in each of the three mediums (PDI, prints and AV), a PSSA Gold medal will be awarded for the top scorer in:
– PDI: Colour Open
– PDI: Colour Nature
– PDI: Mono Open

The 10 highest scorers on the combined PDI Impala log will each receive the Impala Top Ten Award. This will be a certificate.
The highest scorer per club on the combined PDI Impala log, but with at least 10 points, will receive the Club Top Achiever Award; also a certificate.

Other criteria:
There need to be a minimum of 3 salons each year in each medium before the award is made in that medium.
An image may only be used once in any salon irrespective of the category or of the image being in colour or monochrome or be the image in digital or print. No similar images may be used.
An image is only eligible for a total of 3 acceptances in any Impala year.
An image which has been accepted in colour and monochrome forms part of the count of 3, e.g. An image gains 2 colour and 1 mono acceptances = 3 acceptances; the image should now be retired.

A salon permitting a ‘mixed’ category which accepts both colour and monochrome images in the category, will be included in the Impala Open Colour log.

Diamond Ratings
This does not work the same as the Impala Trophy, because you need to record your own acceptances, which may include up to 50% of overseas acceptances.
These are separated into 3 different categories, Digital Colour Open Pictorial, Colour Nature and Monochrome, gaining Diamond Ratings in each section.
These Ratings lead up to EPSSA, EPSSA(Cls) and EPSSA(Mille).

A: Firstly, the colour gamut (spectrum) that we are able to see with our eyes is much wider than the gamut that a screen or projector can display.
In computer terms we have Adobe RGB and sRGB. The gamut of Adobe RGB is wider than sRGB.
The camera should always be set on Adobe RGB as you want to capture as wide a range of colours as possible when you take the picture. The minimum processing then takes place in camera.
The picture is processed in Photoshop in Adobe RGB.
I save my pictures in the original large format and in Adobe RGB as a PSD (Photoshop format). PSD is a “lossless” system. Jpeg is a “lossy” system which does its own compression. This is not ideal as you have less control. You can return to the PSD file and rework it if needed. You then resize the image for printing or projection purposes, and then change it to a Jpeg and convert to sRGB profile Photoshop – Francois Roux.

A: This is very important. Clubs ought to buy a Spyder and make it available to the club members to calibrate their equipment.
The calibration takes place in two steps:

1. Firstly the “brightness” and “contrast” must be selected manually.
The “PSSA Test Images” can be downloaded from the PSSA website. Look on the home page of the website for the relevant tab right at the bottom of the page. There is a version for Windows and for Mac; the first page is the brightness and contrast chart.
The 2% black on the brightness side, and the 98% white on the contrast side must be visible. This is adjusted manually on the screen or projector.

2. Secondly the calibration of colours is done with the Spyder. The Spyder’s software is loaded onto the computer. The Spyder unit is then placed in position for calibration. It can be attached to the monitor or placed next to it depending on the type of calibration you have selected.The Spyder then reads the colours reflected from the screen and compares that to the software profile. The software then creates a colour profile on the graphics card of the computer.
We thus ensure that the colours one sees at home will be the same as the colours seen on any other calibrated system.
The ambient light in the room where we work will influence the calibration. REMEMBER: Photographers do it in the dark.
If you change your computer screen/ monitor you must recalibrate. If another screen /projector is used with a computer, a new profile has to be created.
The test image with the PSSA in the corners is for use on a projector only, to see if all 4 corners are sharp and if all the outer borders even.
The other images on the test images page is to see if the colours display naturally, and if there is sufficient detail.
It is important to understand that it is not the screen or projector that is calibrated, a colour profile for that specific combination of computer and screen/projector is created – Francois Roux

A: Your PSSA member number is the number as displayed on your latest PSSA member card.

This differs from your old membership number in that it identifies each member (individual members as well as members in a joint membership) uniquely.

The new member number is more sophisticated in that it starts with an alpha character and contains a check digit to make validation more accurate. The number must be used as it was issued: M(zero) and what follows.

With the old membership number it was a mammoth task to assign salon acceptance points to the annual PSSA Impala Trophy log, while with the new member number it will be possible to automate the assignment process having the benefit of more accurate results and faster turn-around time from closing of a salon up to the publication of the results.

If you do not know your new member number, you may contact the PSSA secretary Ria Katzke or at 082 846 0176

If you are not a PSSA member, simply leave this field blank.

Important: If you do not supply your PSSA member number for a salon entry, your results will not be entered in the Annual Impala Trophy log.

A: In broad terms we can say a Junior club is a club with less than 20 members and a Senior club is a club with more than 20 members.

This will be subject to some other factors which can change the above; e.g. if a club with more than 20 members only have junior members (1-3 star), and vice versa.

The number, if present, of experienced photographers in a club can thus change the status of a Junior (small) club to that of a senior club.

A:  There is no limitation on how many times you may enter a picture in a different salon.
There is also no limitation on the number of acceptances you may achieve for a picture.
There are however three main areas where the number of salon acceptances allowed per picture are specifically stipulated:

1. Impala Trophy:
There is currently a limit of 3 acceptances per image in any Impala year.

The Impala trophy only counts acceptances on salons hosted in South Africa with PSSA patronage.

2. Diamond Rating:
Only 3 acceptances per photo count for your Diamond Rating. Acceptances achieved on PSSA National, PSSA International and all other International salons count towards the diamond rating. Acceptances are accumulated per picture. Diamond Rating for digital has 3 categories: Colour Open (pictorial); Colour Nature and Mono. (See the diamond rating page for more detail)

3. Club promotion: Each club has its own rules on the number of acceptances per photo which count towards advancement for club purposes.

A: NATURE photography depicts observations of natural elements from all branches of natural history. Falling within the Nature category is WILDLIFE which is defined as one or more organisms living free and unrestrained in a natural or adopted habitat.

All Wildlife can therefore be entered in the NATURE category but all Nature cannot be entered in the WILDLIFE category. Wildlife subjects are not limited to birds and mammals. Insects, reptiles, amphibians, sea creatures and botany are also eligible wildlife subjects as long as they are not captive subjects. The main subjects must be living organisms therefore Nature landscapes are not eligible wildlife subjects. While photographs of zoo or any other animals in captivity, insects or other creatures photographed in the studio or other controlled locations are NATURE subjects they are not WILDLIFE and could not be entered in a WILDLIFE category.

Animals living free and unrestrained on game farms, private game reserves and National Parks are considered to be WILDLIFE.

Also read the current definitions document.

A: There are quite a few members that belong to two, three or more clubs. It is preferable not to enter the same images to all two/three Clubs in the same month.

It is rare that more than one club would have the same image of the month. However, if the same image gets chosen as the winner at more than one club, the organiser of the Monthly PSSA Competition requests from the Club who met the latest in the month to send the next winner in that category; each club is thus still in the running.

If the author is in attendance at all the clubs when his/or her image is chosen he/she should then say that it has already won at another club to give another club member an opportunity.

A: Daar is 4 verskillende kategorie vir Diamant Graderings:

1. Digitaal Kleur: Digitaal kleur het op sy beurt weer twee (2) kategoriee nl:
*Oop (Pictorial)
Vir Digitaal Kleur tel Natuur Salon aannames dus apart en Oop (Pictorial) aannames tel apart. Aansoek vir ‘n honours hierin word dus afsonderlik gedoen vir elke kategorie.

2. Afdrukke: Afdrukke het ook twee kategorie nl: Oop (Pictorial) en Natuur. Aansoek word hier ook vir elke kategorie afsonderlik gedoen.

3. Mono: Alle monochroom aannames val onder een kategorie nl Mono. Geen onderskeid tussen Natuur of Oop (Pictorial nie).

4. AV: Alle Audio Visual aannames val onder een kategorie nl AV.

15 aannames is nodig vir ‘n 1 Diamant Gradering. Diamant graderings gaan op tot 5. Vir meer inligting laai die reëls af op hierdie bladsy.

A: All PSSA members may enter the Website Picture of the Month competition. It is an open competition, there are no rules. Just upload your best image on by the 25th of the month. All entries are published on the website under Galleries.

A: All judges are permitted to judge three (3) Colour and three (3) Mono Salons in a PSSA Salon calendar year.

A: No this is a PSSA definition. Please note that this definition is for PSSA National Salons. For any other salons please refer to the specific Salon Brochure.

A: LPSSA, APSSA, FPSSA, MPSSA & (Vers) & (Dux) are Honours which can be applied for by members by submitting a panel of images for assessment. These Honours are awarded in recognition of photographic mastery, skill and achievement and any full member of PSSA may apply. Once achieved a member is entitled to use the relevant letters after his or her name for as long as he or she remains a member of PSSA.

When listing honours after ones name one only lists a specific honour once and only the highest honour achieved. In the case of honorary awards both these and the achievement award would be listed e.g. Hon FPSSA, FPSSA.

The following types of Honours may be applied for in Digital, Audio Visual & Prints:

Licentiateship: The LPSSA is the entry level Honours and is awarded for a high level of basic skill and competence.

Associateship: The APSSA is awarded for a high standard of technical skill, competence and creative ability. The applicant must already hold either a LPSSA or a 3 Diamond Rating in the medium in which the application is made.

Fellowship: The FPSSA is awarded for excellence and distinguished ability. The applicant must already hold an APSSA in that medium.

Master: The MPSSA is PSSA’s highest award and in addition to holding a FPSSA in that medium various other criteria must also be met.

Versatility: A (Vers) may be applied for when three honours at the same level have been achieved. The intention of the award is to show versatility and therefore the three panels must do just this.

Any combination of honours may be used to achieve a (Vers) but if they are in a single medium then a minimum of two of the panels must be specialised. An example of this would be a nature panel, a pictorial panel and a specialised panel – specialized meaning for instance sport or flying birds.

At the Fellowship level acknowledgement in the form of a (Dux) may be applied for, for the achievement of three Fellowships in different mediums. There are four possible mediums and in order to be awarded a (Dux), a Fellowship must be achieved in at least 2 of the 4 – Projected media, Prints, Audio-Visual & Applied.

DPSSA & EPSSA – Read more about it here

Also read more on the Honours web page.

A: Salons are a challenge and they are fun especially when more members from your club enter – it is always exciting to wait for the results and immensely satisfying when your work is chosen i.e. “accepted” for exhibition.

How do they work?
A Salon is a competition where photographers enter their photographs for possible selection for exhibition. The exhibition is the actual “salon” and the judging is actually the selection of works for the exhibition.

The aim of any exhibition is to select the best works from those submitted and generally between 18 and 22% of the entries are selected for exhibition. This figure sometimes increases to as much as 33% of the entries, depending on the medium; different rules apply to projected digital images, prints and audio visual.

Any member club of PSSA may apply to host a salon. The salon can be a national one, where members of PSSA photographers worldwide as well as any photographer in South Africa may enter, or it can be an International one where anyone from anywhere may enter.

In order to be approved the salon must agree to abide by the rules or Exhibition Standards as set out in the Salon Directors Manual. These are a set of standards designed to provide a set criteria for all exhibitions. The criteria include definitions, entry forms, exhibition schedule, notification, judging, catalogue, return of entries and awards.

Who may enter?
A photographer need not be a PSSA member to enter a salon.

Why should I enter?
Many photographers start entering exhibitions to see how their work will stand up against that of other exhibitors. There is also the satisfaction which comes from public recognition of one’s work. Exhibitors will also have their accepted images as part of the salons public shows which may be internet shows which provide the successful entrant with worldwide exposure of their images.

How does membership of PSSA benefit me with regards to Salons?
PSSA Members receive a discount when entering salons.

PSSA offers “Diamond Rating” awards which are available to all full members of PSSA. Credits may be claimed from acceptances gained on Salons worldwide recognised by PSSA.

The Diamond rating is related to a stated medium and a stated subject i.e. a person holds a 2 Diamond rating in digital. On achieving a “Diamond Rating” members will receive a lapel badge designating both the rating and the medium.

Whereas the “Diamond Rating” award is an individual personal challenge, the “Impala Trophy” is a competition between all PSSA members who enter salons in South Africa. The most successful entrants in each medium will be awarded the trophy. The Impala year runs from 1 July to 30 June.

In addition Top 10 badges are presented to the Top 10 in each medium. PSSA also presents an award to the top salon worker in each club excluding any members who finished in the Top 10. The criteria being that the winner must be an individual member of PSSA.

What kind of images, whether digital images, slides or prints, can be entered in a salon?
A salon can include both PSSA defined categories and non PSSA defined categories; salons choose whatever categories they would like. They must follow the defined definitions or choose a totally different category and then they must create their own definition.

Can I enter each section? How many images can I enter?
Yes, you can enter one or all sections in an exhibition. Just make sure your images fit the section definition paying particular attention to any limitations in subject matter and in sizing. Be sure to read the entry form carefully. Up to four images can be entered in a projected digital image category and up to six prints in a prints category.

Salon Acceptances for Promotion – what does that mean?
PSSA recommends that clubs use a promotion system which includes Salon Acceptances as a requirement for advancement within the club. Entering salons around the country and around the world gives you an opportunity to see how you rate in a bigger pool than just your own club. Achieving acceptances on these salons is recognition of your status as a photographer.

A: To reinstate your PSSA membership, please complete the application form for individual members on our website. You will have to pay the entry fee again as well as the membership fee. Please note that PSSA Honours are not automatically reinstated and application must be made to the Chairman of the Honours Division. Full details of all previous Honours must be submitted via email in order for the reinstation to be considered. No PSSA member is allowed to use his/her honours if not an active PSSA member.

What chance do I have of gaining an acceptance with, for instance, a manipulated nature image in the open section?

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